Does Jalen Brunson Deserve To Play More For The Mavericks?
The Mavericks were thought of as a sleeper team at the beginning of this 2021 season. However, now they are under .500 despite having a better team this year. Josh Richardson was one of the most underrated pickups of the 2020 NBA offseason. He has underwhelmed this season. A player for the Mavs that hasn’t underwhelmed is Jalen Brunson. Jalen Brunson has been a more efficient player of the Mavs than Josh Richardson.
Jalen Brunson has only started a handful of games for the Mavericks this year. He has mostly come off the bench for the Mavericks and done his damage that way. He averages 12 points a game on 52.1% shooting, 3.6 APG, and 3.3 RPG in 24 minutes.
For comparison, Josh Richardson barely averages more PPG than Brunson by less than a point. He averages fewer assists and rebounds than Brunson as well. J-Rich also shoots significantly worse than Brunson percentage-wise from the field and from 3. Richardson does this in about 6 more minutes than Brunson too. Imagine if Jalen Brunson was playing 6 more minutes. How much better would the Mavericks be?
You may be saying “Well, Josh Richardson brings more to the defensive side of the ball.” That may be true, but does he do all that much more than Brunson to offset the effectiveness? I don’t think so. Their defensive win shares are about the same. Therefore, their defensive effectiveness is about the same. The difference is that Jalen Brunson is only 6’1 while Richardson is 6’5. J-Rich has been one of the more disappointing players on the Mavericks, while Jalen Brunson has been one of the more pleasant surprises. Brunson has earned more playing time, hopefully, he gets that opportunity.